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By Joseph M. Grieco; Abstract: The newest liberal institutionalism asserts that, although it accepts a major realist proposition that international. Anarchy and the Limits of Cooperation: A Realist Critique of the Newest Liberal Institutionalism Author(s): Joseph M. Grieco Source: International Organization. Grieco claims that liberalism has attributed to realism a concept of the state that is not present in realist theory. Liberal literature takes as its unit.

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Waltz,TheoryofInternational This content downloaded from Within the liberal IR paradigm, there is a tension between law-focused and security-focused approaches, on the one hand, and economic approaches, on the other. They do not, in other words,attribute to stateswhatSteincorrectly definition callsa mercantilist Instead,realistsarguethatstatesare morelikelyto con- of self-interest. This is especially true when the benefits from cooperation are large compared with the costs of sanctioning cheaters and monitoring compliance costs reduced by the actions of international institutions.

ANARCHY AND THE LIMITS OF COOPERATION « A blog on the LSE Masters of Public Administration

Thesecondclustersuggests thatinternational institutions helpstatesdevelop,accept,and disseminateconsensualtheoretical and empiricalknowledge thatcan reinforceorintroduceinternational normsleadingtocooperation.

A secondpairofcompeting hypotheses concernsthenumberofpartners statespreferto includein a cooperativearrangement. How- This content downloaded from Wiener and Diez add a rational choice institutional category, as well, as they think that the policy analysis within the polity developed into an autonomous brand of literature. For neoliberaltheory, theproblem of co- operation inanarchyis thatstatesmayfailtoachieveit;inthefinalanalysis, theworstpossibleoutcomeis a ov opportunity.

Anarchy and the limits of cooperation: a realist critique of the newest liberal institutionalism

Carr suggestedthat “the mostseriouswarsare fought in orderto makeone’s owncountry militarily strongeror, more often,to preventanotherfrombecomingmilitarily ’58 Alongthesamelines,Gilpin stronger.

Generally it is defensive.

WorldPolitics in Transition Boston: The realist view on the other hand is that states are concerned with absolute and relative gains. In other words, institutions can help states to cooperate. For functionalisttheory, specialized agencieslikethe InternationalLabor Organization could promote cooperation because they performed valuable tasks without frontally challenging state sovereignty.


Indeed,thenewliberalinstitutionalism failsto addressa majorconstraint on thewillingness of statesto cooperatewhich is generated byinternational anarchyand whichis identified byrealism. It suggeststhattheyare notultimate causes of world eventsbutinsteadare themselves resultantsof thedevelopment of a singleworldcapitalist economy.

Similarly, specialsubsidieswereprovidedto Italyand Irelandto attractthemto theEuropeanMonetary System. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. See Mitrany, WorkingPeace System,pp. Giventhisunderstanding of anarchy,neoliberalinstitu- tionaltheorycorrectly identifiestheproblemofcheatingand thenproceeds to investigatehowinstitutions can amelioratethatparticular problem.

The majorconstraint ontheircooperation in mixedinterest international is theproblemofcheating.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: For example, Axelrodsuggeststhatthekeyissue in selectinga “best strategy”in Pris- oner’sDilemma-offered byneoliberals anarcy a powerfulmodeloftheproblem of statecooperationin theface of anarchyand mixedinterests-isto de- termine”what strategy will yielda playerthe highestpossiblescore. NLI stresses that these forces do actually exist. How- ever,realistsfindthatstatesarepositional,notatomistic, in character, and therefore realistsarguethat,in additionto concernsaboutcheating,states in cooperativearrangements also worrythattheirpartners mightgainmore fromcooperationthantheydo.

Regimes reinforce reciprocity delegitimize defection thus making it more costly. Onthetendency ofstatestocompareperformance levels,see OranYoung,”International Regimes: He indicatesthatin each case, “the three nationsagreedto dividePolishterritory in sucha waythatthedistribution of poweramongthemselveswould be approximately the same afterthe partitions as ithadbeenbefore. A realist critique of the newest liberal institutionalism.

Krasner, Defending the National Interest: Thisportrays realistthinkingina manner similar to thatsuggested by Youngand citedabovein note The first believe in the possibility of multiple integrations, while the latter does not think that they are desirable. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.

However,thisunderstanding of state utilitycannotbe readilybased on Waltz,forhiscoreinsight, and thatoftherealisttradition, is notthatall statesnecessarily seek a balanceof advantagesin theirfavor although some maydo this butratherthatall fearthatrelativegainsmayfavorand thusstrengthen others.

Forcase studiesoftheproblem ofrelativegainsindevelopingcountry regionalefforts to cooperate, see Richard I. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Put like this, it is clear that utility maximization is not the overall goal, rather survival is their core interest.


Faced with both cheating and relative gains problems states seek to ensure that others comply with agreements and that the collaboration produces balanced gains.

Therefore, although this includes the absence of an agency to prevent cheating, it also includes the absence of an agency to prevent other states from using violence or the threat of violence to destroy or enslave. They worry that their partners may gain more than they do, and so even in the absence of cheating a state may withdraw from an agreement if the other partners will gain more from it than they do, hence subverting existing power structures.

The main obstacle to cooperation in this view and hence the definition of anarchy is cheating. Yet, indoingso, theyfailto identify a majorsourceof stateinhibitions aboutinternational cooperation. Little, Brown, ;Ole R. For realists,as forneoliberals, international anarchymeanstheabsence of a commoninter-state government. Axelrod,forexample,indicatesthat individualistic hisobjectiveis to showhowactors”who pursuetheirowninterests”may nevertheless worktogether.

Indeed,theyshouldtake comfort inthelatter’ssuccess,forinattaining greatereconomicgainsthese partners becomestronger military allies. In other words, this is the threat of war. Strategies and Institutions,” WorldPolitics38 October ,pp. In sum,I suggestthatrealism,its emphasison conflict and competition notwithstanding, offersa morecompleteunderstanding of theproblemof international cooperationthandoes its latestliberalchallenger. Waltz, Man, the State, and War: Waltz, Man, State, and War, pp.

Realisttheoryalso arguesthatinternationalinsti- tutionsare unableto mitigate anarchy’sconstrainingeffectson inter-state cooperation. RichardRosecranceprovidedtheinsight pessimistic thatrealismpresentsan essentially viewofthehumancondition: